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Could you "Winogrand"?
Old 6 Days Ago   #1
Timmyjoe
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Could you "Winogrand"?

Not talking about his talent, which I alway found impressive. More thinking about his "output" and the thought that when he died, he left 2500 rolls of exposed film, undeveloped.

I find myself processing film as soon as I have a couple/three exposed rolls. But I find a certain fascination in the idea of shooting ten, twenty, thirty, maybe 100 rolls before processing them and seeing what I had. Maybe shooting for a year or more before developing the work.

Anyone ever tried this?

For me, the longest I ever let a roll of film sit after shooting it was a couple of years, and that was when I was in grad school and lost a roll during one of my moves, only finding it years later when unpacking boxes in storage. It was exciting to see what was on the film, and it brought back great memories.

So I was wondering, does anyone leave their exposed film for months or years before processing it?

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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
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I don't think it was only Winograd. They have to develop plenty of VM's films.
And it was very clearly explained why by GW and it is not really just an excuse why he was not developing, printing, but shooting. It is good technique for separation of fresh emotions and distanced objective look.

Here is the story. Our friends gave us media set. Furniture. In one of the cabinets I found exposed, not developed film. I took care of it and it was amazing. Did the photo book and framed picture. They have it at home now.
So, this way or another, it works.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
It is good technique for separation of fresh emotions and distanced objective look.
I've read GW's take on this and I tend to agree with him. The emotion in the moment of making the image in camera, if the time frame before viewing is too short, can seriously color our evaluation of the image and whether we think it's "good" or not.

I find this comes in to play with shooting digital assignments on deadline where the editor expects me to send him only "selects". I have little objectivity about my work, when evaluating it within an hour of shooting it.

I think that is one of the things I find fascinating about how GW worked. How does it effect your process when you aren't checking or seeing your results until long after you've capture the images in camera.

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Old 6 Days Ago   #4
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The problem with doing this is the latent image on the film fades with time. Ive run rolls that I've stuck in a drawer for a year or two and you can tell the shadows have lost densit. Different films deteriorate faster than others but the all fade and eventually build up fog. One year you may or may not see a change depending on what film and how critical your eye is. I'd say VM's negs after many years are not optimum and have tested the skill of the person printing them.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #5
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I couldn't do it. I'm always excited to get my film back and would hate waiting too long.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #6
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When I shoot colour I wait until I have 8-10 rolls and process it all at once so I don't leave the chemicals too long.
Black and white, no way! Unless I'm travelling I process every roll (or two) as it happens. I try to develop something every week.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Here is the story. Our friends gave us media set. Furniture. In one of the cabinets I found exposed, not developed film. I took care of it and it was amazing. Did the photo book and framed picture. They have it at home now.
So, this way or another, it works.
Only if the images, which sat latent on the film in the drawer, were worthwhile from the outset. Images are not like wine; they do not improve with age in the canister. Of course, you can chose to look at them whenever you want, for whatever reason, rational or irrational.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #8
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Expressly because of what Garry Winogrand said, I have slowed down between finishing a roll of film and processing it. Although my record roll count was 16, not 2500, he was such a film burner it might have represented close the same amount of time (about 13 months for my longest unprocessed roll).

To be honest, I do not think it makes my pictures any better, nor my judgement of them. So, having done the experiment, I am now on the path back to processing the film much closer in time to when I used it. The biggest benefit to the "closer in time" method is to remember more about how I took the shot. I still see film photography as a learning experience. Winogrand was way beyond that stage, no doubt.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
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Winogrand and I have this is common,

I have about equal parts exposed and new film sitting...

I know I have atleast 1200ft unexposed...

Maybe I need to get on this!
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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
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The fact that he left so many rolls of film undeveloped means most of what he said in his life was complete bullsh!t. Photographing to see what things look like? Apparently not. 2500 rolls is way beyond waiting to see fresh images. Most of it was garbage too.

I've never understood the appeal of Winogrand. I think he was just "annointed" and no one ever questions it. Lots of photographers better than him. I think he appeals to a certain "type" of person, but that person is not me. I never really cared much either way about him but I heard a recording once of him bashing Ralph Gibson who in my opinion has more talent in his little pinky. Hell of a lot more intelligent too. I thought it was hilarious.

I've never left too many rolls undeveloped because of the reasons Don brought up. If you want to wait, just file the negs and look at them later. Usually the week or two that sometimes elapses is all the time you need.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
The fact that he left so many rolls of film undeveloped means most of what he said in his life was complete bullsh!t. Photographing to see what things look like? Apparently not. 2500 rolls is way beyond waiting to see fresh images. Most of it was garbage too.

I've never understood the appeal of Winogrand. I think he was just "annointed" and no one ever questions it. Lots of photographers better than him. I think he appeals to a certain "type" of person, but that person is not me. I never really cared much either way about him but I heard a recording once of him bashing Ralph Gibson who in my opinion has more talent in his little pinky. Hell of a lot more intelligent too. I thought it was hilarious.

I've never left too many rolls undeveloped because of the reasons Don brought up. If you want to wait, just file the negs and look at them later. Usually the week or two that sometimes elapses is all the time you need.
As with all artists who are "anointed" as great, he was in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right friends. It's not a matter of who was (or is) better, better is subjective anyway. Name any "great photographer" and I can name someone who is "better" and should be more highly regarded but isn't.

I'm not defending him or the system - it just is what it is.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #12
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I have 3-rolls tank and 8-rolls tank, all are Paterson. Normally I will wait until I have 2-3 rolls to develop. The 8-tank is used when I have load of films after a photo trip. So, no way that I can have similar situation of GW.
BTW, anyone knows the current situation of his 2500 undeveloped films?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Not talking about his talent, which I alway found impressive. More thinking about his "output" and the thought that when he died, he left 2500 rolls of exposed film, undeveloped.
...
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Old 6 Days Ago   #13
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I've always wanted to be more like this and wait until I have at least 15-20 rolls to really see if the amount of time elapsed actually helps me find what I do and don't like but I still can't seem to get past 2 rolls. Mostly I'd say because I've had such bad experience in the past with bum cameras developing light leaks, shutter capping, etc that I really just don't want to end up with 15 rolls that I know are all going to be more or less ruined (or at least not how I originally intended) due to a camera malfunction.

The longest I've gone was about a year after I found a few one time use cameras that were lost in a move, but I would hardly say that this example counts.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #14
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I have about 250 rolls of film to develop, some date back to 2005 I think.

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Old 6 Days Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
As with all artists who are "anointed" as great, he was in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right friends. It's not a matter of who was (or is) better, better is subjective anyway. Name any "great photographer" and I can name someone who is "better" and should be more highly regarded but isn't.

I'm not defending him or the system - it just is what it is.
You are correct Michael. it is like an ecosystem thing if you are lucky enough to be in it.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #16
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I’ve probably got atleast 4 SD cards full of images I haven’t looked at!
Makes me wonder what’s on them now.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #17
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While not in GW's league, my procedure involves a delay too... though digital. I shoot in batches like rolls of film, usually around 100 shots +/- that may be done over several weeks, more like daily when traveling. At the close of each day's shooting I review the "take" briefly for the purpose of making notes about locations and subjects and anything notable.

But it is usually some months later that the raw files are brought into the software for post. Then there's a delay following that before anything is printed or uploaded. I may get 6 months or more behind on this. Just now uploading some shots from August. So there is some time perspective, fresh looks at the work. Mostly banal anyway, but I think it is more enjoyable.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #18
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I only have one undeveloped roll of film, I have over a hundred folders of digital images that I need to import into Light Room and process. Does that count?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
(...) So I was wondering, does anyone leave their exposed film for months or years before processing it?
Yes, I do. I believe forgetting the emotions I had when making an image lets me judge it more 'objectively'. I learned that from Winogrand.

Still, the true reason I develop later is very practical. I haven't got the time-time.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
The fact that he left so many rolls of film undeveloped means most of what he said in his life was complete bullsh!t. (...)
With all due respect, that's bullsh!t.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
The fact that he left so many rolls of film undeveloped means most of what he said in his life was complete bullsh!t. Photographing to see what things look like? Apparently not. 2500 rolls is way beyond waiting to see fresh images. Most of it was garbage too.

I've never understood the appeal of Winogrand. I think he was just "annointed" and no one ever questions it. Lots of photographers better than him. I think he appeals to a certain "type" of person, but that person is not me. I never really cared much either way about him but I heard a recording once of him bashing Ralph Gibson who in my opinion has more talent in his little pinky. Hell of a lot more intelligent too. I thought it was hilarious.

I've never left too many rolls undeveloped because of the reasons Don brought up. If you want to wait, just file the negs and look at them later. Usually the week or two that sometimes elapses is all the time you need.

For me, living with and evaluating a working set of images, either in print form or by re-visiting my digital archive on a regular basis, is how I slowly layer my opinions on any particular image's attributes. I need to be looking at a result; after all, it is a visual medium.

The most consistent pattern I've noticed is how none of my "almost" images ever get any better over time.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #22
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I’ve spent the last 5 years shooting and only running the film occasionally, I got caught up in developing about 2 months ago, and got proofsheets done a couple of weeks back. I’m now printing from this backlog, my biggest ever. Fifteen binders of negatives, 55 to 60 rolls per binder. Shooting color film while I get these prints done, I’m sending in a few rolls each month, and have the first 810 Portra enroute back from the lab today. Really enjoying being in the darkroom again, and having a blast being out with the view camera. Don’t think this pile-up did anything good for my eye, in fact I have almost immediately switched from a 28 or 35 to a 50mm lens for 90% of my walking around shooting. I think I’ll be doing a bit of cropping...

I didn’t do this with any plan, nor have I found it very helpful as yet, I’ve gone through the proofsheets and have a very long list of negs to proof. Szarkowski wondered about GW having lost his edge or vision after looking at the film he had developed, much of it shot from a moving car with a 28mm lens. Winogrands purchase of an 810 camera soon before he fell ill is also mentioned in the same essay. I can see him (GW) doing an about face and slowing way down with some 810, investigating a very different way things look photographed.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tompas View Post
With all due respect, that's bullsh!t.

A.D. Coleman used to compare Winogrand to a monkey with a camera strapped to his head that would randomly shoot pictures of whatever the monkey happened to be facing at the moment the camera randomly fired its shutter.

I remember pissing off my photo professor in art school, who was a huge Winogrand fan, by reading one of Coleman's articles about G.W. in class
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Old 5 Days Ago   #24
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I develop 50-100 rolls once or twice a year.

Winogrand has that insatiable hunger for the images. It's pretty hard to keep up with him.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #25
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I'm with Coleman on that one - maybe the ones left in the can were shot by a less experienced monkey.
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One Person's BS Is Another's Worldview
Old 5 Days Ago   #26
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One Person's BS Is Another's Worldview

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With all due respect, that's bullsh!t.
It sure is.

Art is subjective. People like different things. All artists are anointed. Writers, poets, musicians, singers, actors, and actresses become successful because they have talent, a work ethic and are very lucky.

Winogrand worked hard. He was able to a lot of time on the streets. He was even working when he took his kids to the Bronx Zoo on weekends

Winogrand was also lazy and disorganized. He only did what he enjoyed - making photographs. He didn't enjoy developing and printing, so he didn't do it. The concept that viewing negatives long after they're made has an artistic advantage as likely an accidental observation.

Winogrand did have a consistent artistic ethos and worldview. If you read the transcripts of his academic talks many artists didn't agree with his ideas. This is not unusual. Is William Eggleston's Democratic Photography philosophy BS too? I'm sure it is to some serious artists.

Winogrand was seriously injured working on the sidelines of a U. of Texas football game. The injuries had long-term physical consequences as did the pain medication. Even the Winogrand's strongest supporters are disturbed by his behavior at the end of his life.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
A.D. Coleman used to compare Winogrand to a monkey with a camera strapped to his head that would randomly shoot pictures of whatever the monkey happened to be facing at the moment the camera randomly fired its shutter.
OK, I can endorse that! As the guy with the monkey-at-typewriter avatar pic, how could I not?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #28
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I respect Winogrand but it seems obvious to me that he was obsessive about shooting and not at all obsessive over processing and printing. I could never do that. For quite a few years, I worked for a daily newspaper where you processed film immediately and delivered prints within hours (sometimes minutes) after shooting. It taught me to shoot only what is worthwhile, recognize the best shots on a roll of negatives quickly and print them immediately. We never had time for contact sheets and, besides, I couldn't read a contact sheet nearly as well as I could a negative through a loupe.

I haven't done news photography in over 25 years. For the last ten or so years, I've only shot digital. With the cards I'm using now, I can shoot up to about 1000 Raw images. I've never come close to that. I've never filled a card, even the small capacity ones. Around home, I shoot a few images and as soon as possible download them, review them and print what looks promising. On trips, I shoot conservatively, review on the camera, delete missed shots and wait until I get home to download. I seldom have over 200-300 images even from a 3-week trip. I may only print 10-15 of them. Winogrand, I'm not.

But I can't criticize Winogrand. His methods worked for him. His best shots were sublime. His weaker shots were still pretty damn good. He filled his photos with information and that sometimes overwhelms the viewer. I have several of his books and every time I browse his photos I see something interesting I didn't notice previously.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
But I can't criticize Winogrand. His methods worked for him. His best shots were sublime. His weaker shots were still pretty damn good. He filled his photos with information and that sometimes overwhelms the viewer. I have several of his books and every time I browse his photos I see something interesting I didn't notice previously.

Agree ....big Winigrand fan here.
Could I do that .... no .
I`m far too impatient to see what I`ve shot.

Currently re scanning all my film from the last ten years and its surprising the perspective that distance does give you however.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Not talking about his talent, which I alway found impressive. More thinking about his "output" and the thought that when he died, he left 2500 rolls of exposed film, undeveloped.

I find myself processing film as soon as I have a couple/three exposed rolls. But I find a certain fascination in the idea of shooting ten, twenty, thirty, maybe 100 rolls before processing them and seeing what I had. Maybe shooting for a year or more before developing the work.

Anyone ever tried this?

For me, the longest I ever let a roll of film sit after shooting it was a couple of years, and that was when I was in grad school and lost a roll during one of my moves, only finding it years later when unpacking boxes in storage. It was exciting to see what was on the film, and it brought back great memories.

So I was wondering, does anyone leave their exposed film for months or years before processing it?

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

I have been compared to Garry because before I got my Monochrom at my peak I was shooting 150 rolls a month on average during an 7-8 month shooting season (135 and 120).

I would use an entire weekend to process all this film in a 2 liter tank every month; kinda like doing a developing marathon. The real time consumer was sleeving negatives and limited drying space was a bottleneck.

Of course this was when Arista Premium was readily avilable for $2.89 a roll, and I loaded up the truck with close dated rebranded Fuji Acros for $1.89 a roll. Acros in 120 I could buy at Adorama for $3.19 a roll.

Know that I was wise to exploit cheap film and concentrated only on image capture. I am finding that much of what I shot here in NYC captured the housing crisis and great recession. I photographed extensively Newtown Creek, an industrial area that expressed a vacant abandoned moody lonelyness due to the absence of people. Also the redevelopment and gentrification.

Basically it was wise to just concentrate on just image capture, but know that this annoyed mucho people. I now have a decade of unedited negatives that likely will take decades to edit and print, but know that I have learned that time is the best editor.

Garry not only had a reputation for not processing his films, but also shooting a lot, but I think most of all he was like me in that he put off editing his work and concentrated on primarily image capture.

Recently I developed a big batch of film that accumulated in my fridge. I kinda learned that the film image deteriorates if not processed in a reasonable amount of time. Some of this film was shot a year before processing. With the Pan F I got clear film and the images I took had disappeared.

Cal

BTW 150 rolls a month at my peak was just a a thousand rolls for a shooting season, but at least I processed them in a timely manner.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
But I can't criticize Winogrand. His methods worked for him. His best shots were sublime. His weaker shots were still pretty damn good. He filled his photos with information and that sometimes overwhelms the viewer. I have several of his books and every time I browse his photos I see something interesting I didn't notice previously.
I'm also a Winogrand fan, but I realize he is not for everyone. I like his work.

I am also fascinated by "how" he worked. Just concentrating on the shooting for long stretches of time. Being deep in the digital world, where everything is shot, edited and whisked off to an FTP server within minutes of capture, I fantasize about shooting film, in a simple camera, where there is no opportunity to chimp, and the whole focus is on the subjects surrounding you. I'm sure it has its downsides, and I sure don't have Winogrand's talent, but it will be something I hope to experience.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 5 Days Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
I'm also a Winogrand fan, but I realize he is not for everyone. I like his work.

I am also fascinated by "how" he worked. Just concentrating on the shooting for long stretches of time. Being deep in the digital world, where everything is shot, edited and whisked off to an FTP server within minutes of capture, I fantasize about shooting film, in a simple camera, where there is no opportunity to chimp, and the whole focus is on the subjects surrounding you. I'm sure it has its downsides, and I sure don't have Winogrand's talent, but it will be something I hope to experience.

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

I still shoot both analog and digital for NYC street.

I took a "Gallery Workshop" and kinda learned that digital shooting is further supported by a gallery "print-on-demand" that mimics a "just-in-time" supply line like used in the automotive industry. Photographs are kinda commodified by limited editioning and very tight inventory control.

Of course with film it is not so streamlined. Understand that there is no longer any "wet print premium" that would offset the added time and costs involved.

Anyways shooting a lot only makes one a better photographer. I'm greatful I did it when I could, but now it seems to be now a bit cost prohibited. Film is no longer "no-money" and the current gallery system does not support athe benefits of streamlining.

Cal
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Old 5 Days Ago   #33
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I am perplexed by the lack of respect for this renowned photographer. Especially by those contributors to this forum who shoot for the digital sock drawer. An amazing spread of iconoclasm or spite.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #34
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Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I am perplexed by the lack of respect for this renowned photographer. Especially by those contributors to this forum who shoot for the digital sock drawer. An amazing spread of iconoclasm or spite.
Peter,

I got into mucho heated arguing when I did my concentrating on image capture alone. How would you respond to people telling you what to do? In the end I did a very wise thing by shooting film as much as I could knowing that one day prices would increase enough to make it cost prohibited.

Everyone was yelling at me to print. They saw no wisdom on concentrating like an artist on doing one thing well. People felt really free to tell me what to do. You are correct: it is disrespectful. Because I did not print and had a total disregard to printing I was even told I was not a photographer. LOL. I really-really annoyed people. LOL. After a while I really dug in.

The about 1K rolls I shot in 6-7 months would be over $5K today for film alone, and back then about 5 years ago my average price per roll was about $2.50.

I can tell you this: if you are not doing what other people are doing, expect to stand out, and also expect to be disrespected for it.

At this point I get the last laugh.

Cal
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Old 5 Days Ago   #35
Richard G
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I often think about the option to go deep GW and shoot roll after roll and never develop them. Part of photography is just be out, absorbed in the activity of taking the picture. You don’t necessarily need the result. This seemingly perplexing aspect of Winogrand’s output is the corollary of that other great photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s claim that he had been a photographer long before he held a camera.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #36
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Originally Posted by Calzone View Post

I got into mucho heated arguing when I did my concentrating on image capture alone. How would you respond to people telling you what to do? In the end I did a very wise thing by shooting film as much as I could knowing that one day prices would increase enough to make it cost prohibited.
Of course, if you hadn't told them what you were doing and tried to justify it, they never would have told you to do something different. You won't know whether you were wise or not until you get around to editing and printing your images. I hope it works out for you. I don't know how much of the work on Winogrand's 2500 unprocessed rolls was worthwhile. Spray and pray? Monkey with a typewriter? I don't think there is any virtue in quantity; it's the quality that counts.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #37
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Of course if you hadn't told them what you were doing and tried to justify it, they never would have told you to do something different. You won't know whether you were wise or not until you get around to editing and printing your images. I hope it works out for you. I don't know how much of the work on Winogrand's 2500 unprocessed rolls was worthwhile. Spray and pray? Monkey with a typewriter?
ptp,

I was always carrying around a camera being a photographer. It was people that brought up questions and questioning of what I do and did. When I explained that I was just concentrating on image capture people had little understanding and this upset them and led to arguments.

Believe me I was and am very secure in doing what I want to, and there was never a need by me to preach why or what I am doing. Pretty much people could not let that go and it would lead to arguing, even among other photographers. I heard "I wanna see prints" from many people and my persistence pissed off lots of people. LOL.

When I got my Monochrom similarly I only shot and downloaded, but at least seeing an image on a computer screen satified some people. I have enough experience to be able to judge an image as a negative. While not a print what I saw on wet film out of a development tank looks great, but one does not truely know untill proofs are made.

With the Monochrom I had to save lots of money to get a calibrated monitor as well as printing supplies. In that first year I spent $10K on paper and ink alone, but I shot my Monochrom for two years without making a single image.

Cal
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Old 5 Days Ago   #38
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Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
I was always carrying around a camera being a photographer. It was people that brought up questions and questioning of what I do and did. When I explained that I was just concentrating on image capture people had little understanding and this upset them and led to arguments.
Sounds odd to me. I've never had anyone ask me how many rolls of film I shoot, so they wouldn't have a clue whether I shoot one or a thousand rolls of film a year, or how often I print. But then I don't volunteer a lot of information. I just go about making images. How many rolls one shoots and how often one prints really doesn't tell you much about the ability of a photographer. The proof is in the print.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #39
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Tim,

I still shoot both analog and digital for NYC street.

I took a "Gallery Workshop" and kinda learned that digital shooting is further supported by a gallery "print-on-demand" that mimics a "just-in-time" supply line like used in the automotive industry. Photographs are kinda commodified by limited editioning and very tight inventory control.

Of course with film it is not so streamlined. Understand that there is no longer any "wet print premium" that would offset the added time and costs involved.

Anyways shooting a lot only makes one a better photographer. I'm greatful I did it when I could, but now it seems to be now a bit cost prohibited. Film is no longer "no-money" and the current gallery system does not support athe benefits of streamlining.

Cal
Interesting Cal. I thought of you when I saw this thread... your marathon developing sessions.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #40
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Everyone was yelling at me to print. They saw no wisdom on concentrating like an artist on doing one thing well. People felt really free to tell me what to do. You are correct: it is disrespectful. Because I did not print and had a total disregard to printing I was even told I was not a photographer. LOL. I really-really annoyed people. LOL. After a while I really dug in.
I never said this...nor did your woman! Weren't we the worst offenders?
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